Everyday conversations: Winter activities [audio]


Six students from around the world meet. What do they have in common? They are all exchange students studying at a U.S. university for a semester. Throughout the semester, they learn more English, learn about U.S. culture, and learn more about their fields of study. This series of Everyday Conversations is about these six students and their experiences during a semester at a university in the U.S. These conversations are for intermediate-level English-language learners or higher.

In this conversation, six students (Ajay, Akinyi, Jana, Lee, Lucía and Peter) talk about the weather and winter activities.

Akinyi: This weather is crazy! I’m not used to such cold weather.

Ajay: Neither am I. But the snow is kind of pretty.

Lucía: The icicles hanging from the eaves are my favorite, especially in the sun.

Lee: My favorite place now may be the fireplace in the student center.

Peter: That’s your favorite place for afternoon naps!

Jana: I’ve definitely seen that happen more than once.

Lee: The chairs are cozy. But maybe I should get outside more.

Ajay: Yes, let’s all go ice skating or snowboarding!

Akinyi: I’ve never done either of those things before, so I’d love to go.

Peter: It would be easy to go sledding. There’s a great hill behind the student center.

Jana: And, Lee, you could watch from your cozy chair in the student center.

Now let’s review the vocabulary.

An icicle is a (usually) pointed piece of hanging ice that is formed when water freezes as it drips from something, such as the roof of a building.

The eaves of a house are the lower edges of a roof that usually stick out past the walls.

A fireplace is a specially built space in a wall in a room where one can build a fire.

A student center (also known as a student union) is a building on a university campus for students to socialize, etc., and is the community center of the university.

A nap is a short period of sleep, especially during the day.

Cozy: comfortable, warm and safe, often within a small space.

Ice skating is the activity of using ice skates to move on ice.

Snowboarding is the sport of sliding down a mountain or hill of snow on a snowboard. A snowboard is a large board designed for someone to stand on and move down a mountain or hill on the snow.

Sledding is the act of riding a sled down a hill.

Ready to learn more English? Our materials can help.

The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily.

Everyday Conversations are developed by the State Department’s Heidi Howland, a senior program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.